What Is the Best Pet Insurance in California?

Californians looking for pet insurance may want to check out the policies available from Spot, the No. 1 pet insurance company in our rating. Spot sells policies for dogs and cats with coverage-level options ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Plans with unlimited coverage are also available.

Spot has policies that cover accidents and illness, and policies that cover accidents only. Examples of injuries from an accident include cuts, bites, and broken bones. Illness coverage could help pet owners offset the expense of treating conditions requiring a veterinarian’s care, such as cancer. Other examples might include immunodeficiency viruses in cats and digestive issues in dogs.

Add-ons are also available to help with the cost of preventive care. Spot has two wellness options: the Gold Preventive Care package and the Platinum Preventive Care package. The Gold plan provides $250 in reimbursement, and the Platinum plan provides $450.

Like most pet insurance plans, Spot has an online claims process. Pet owners take their pet to a licensed veterinarian, specialist, or clinic of their choosing for the care their pets require, then file a claim to be reimbursed by the insurer.

Spot’s policies only cover dogs and cats. Nationwide, which is No. 7 in our rating, covers exotic pets, like birds, reptiles, and pot-bellied pigs. ASPCA Pet Insurance, ranked No. 8, sells policies that cover horses.

Learn more in our Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2023 rating.

Is there a waiting period for Spot pet insurance?

Spot has a 14-day waiting period before coverage kicks in. Conditions that occur during a waiting period are considered preexisting, and are not eligible for coverage.

What does Spot pet insurance not cover?

Like most pet insurance plans, Spot’s plans do not cover preexisting conditions. Other exclusions include conditions that occur within the policy waiting period, and daycare/boarding. Wellness care is not included in the company’s basic plans, but two levels of wellness protection — Gold and Platinum — are available as optional coverages.

Our Best Pet Insurance Companies in California Rating

#1 Spot
#2 Lemonade
#3 Trupanion
#3 Embrace
#5 Pets Best
#5 Healthy Paws
#7 Nationwide
#8 ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
#9 Figo
#9 Fetch by the Dodo

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost in California?

A pet’s age and location are two of the factors that go into determining pet insurance rates. Our sample policy’s rates are based on the cost of insuring a small, mixed-breed dog that lives in Los Angeles. A policy that provides $5,000 in coverage would cost, on average, $27.54 per month for a 2-year-old dog. A small, mixed-breed dog that is 6 years old would cost $38.60 per month to insure with a $5,000-limit plan.

There is less difference in cost between policies for cats and dogs in California than in some other areas we studied. A $5,000-limit policy for a 2-year-old domestic shorthair cat residing in Los Angeles would cost $26.68 per month, according to our sample policy. Insuring a 6-year-old cat would cost an average of $37.40 per month.

Our sample prices for dogs and cats are based on policies with $250 deductibles, and 90% reimbursement rates. There are many variables that go into determining the cost of a pet insurance policy. The best way to find a plan that fits your budget and meets the needs of your pet is to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies.

Cost comparison

Monthly rates for pet insurance policies in California are higher than in some other states, but are far from the highest in the U.S., according to our study. A representative policy covering a small, 2-year-old, mixed-breed dog in Los Angeles costs an average of $27.54 per month with a $5,000 limit.

Seattle has the highest monthly average rate in our study. A policy for a small, 2-year-old dog would cost $37.85 there. The cheapest sample rate we found: Jacksonville, Florida, where a policy for a small, 2-year-old mixed-breed dog would cost $14.03 per month.

For comparison’s sake, insuring the same dog in Philadelphia would cost $22.49 per month. In New York City, the policy would cost $34.11 per month.

Policies covering cats are less expensive in Los Angeles, but not by much. At age 2, a domestic shorthair cat residing in Los Angeles would cost $26.68 to insure with a $5,000 limit. The similarities in pricing for dogs and cats makes insuring cats a more expensive proposition here than in some other places. Still, Los Angeles did not have the highest sample rate to insure a domestic shorthair at age 2 — New York did, with a rate of $30.52. The lowest average monthly rate we found was in Jacksonville, $11.23.

Our $5,000-limit sample policy would cost $17.11 for the same cat in Phoenix. It would cost $17.48 in Denver, and $16.29 in Portland.

The cost of pet insurance for dogs

Our sample rates for policies to insure older dogs were significantly higher in most places than policies for younger dogs. The sample cost to insure a small, 6-year-old dog in Los Angeles, with a $5,000 limit, was $38.60 per month. For a policy with no limit, the average monthly rate was $45.14.

The same plans were much cheaper for a 2-year-old dog: For a $5,000-limit policy, the cost is $27.54, and the cost for a policy with no limit is $32.20.

Pet insurance for dogs in U.S. metropolitan areas

Across the metro areas included in our study, there is wide variation between the rates dog owners pay for pet insurance. Our sample rate of $27.54 to insure a small, mixed-breed dog in Los Angeles, at age 2, with a $5,000 coverage limit, compares to an average rate of $37.85 in Seattle, the highest we sampled — and rates as low as $14.57 in Minneapolis, among the cheapest in our study.

Metro areas we studied that have relatively low rates to insure the same pet included Charlotte, North Carolina, at $16.98 per month; and Bridgeport, Connecticut, at $18.51. In Los Angeles, the sample rate for the same policy is $27.54 per month.

Top cities to own a dog in California

Nine cities in California made our list of the Top 50 U.S. Cities to be a Dog Owner. San Francisco was the California city ranked highest, at No. 4. Long Beach was No. 13, Oakland was No. 24, Sacramento was No. 30, San Diego was No. 32, Los Angeles was No. 33, Fresno was No. 44, Bakersfield was No. 47, and San Jose was No. 49.

Our study considered the number of dog parks available and how walkable a city is, and the number of service providers, such as vet clinics. The results found that Portland, Oregon, is the top-rated city for dog owners in the U.S.

The cost of pet insurance for cats

The average cost to insure a 2-year-old domestic shorthair cat in Los Angeles, with a $5,000 limit, was $26.68 per month, according to our sample policy. The cost for the same policy, with unlimited coverage, is $31.20.

Coverage for older cats is more expensive. A policy for a 6-year-old cat, with a $5,000 limit, is $37.40 on average. For a policy with no coverage limit, the sample rate is $43.73.

Pet insurance for cats in U.S. metropolitan areas

Pet insurance costs for cats vary across the U.S. metropolitan areas we studied. Among the highest sample rates we found were in New York City, and the metro area that’s the focus of this article, Los Angeles. Our sample rate to insure a 2-year-old domestic shorthair cat, with a $5,000 coverage limit, is $30.52 in New York. In Los Angeles, the same policy would cost $26.68. Seattle also has a high sample rate, $24.92.

Many cities sampled have less expensive rates. Our sample policy for a 2-year-old domestic shorthair cat shows an average rate of $11.23 per month in Jacksonville, a rate of $11.49 in Indianapolis, $12.43 in Minneapolis, and $12.29 in Detroit.

Pet Laws in California

California law requires all dogs over 4 months of age to be vaccinated against rabies. There is no statewide requirement for cats, but many cities and towns have their own rules regarding licensing and vaccination. California pet owners should check with their local animal welfare agencies to learn about vaccinations, microchipping, and other possible requirements that may apply specifically to their place of residence.

California has enacted laws in recent years aimed at protecting companion animals such as dogs and cats. As a result, while pet stores are still able to partner with rescues and shelters to display animals for adoption, the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in the state has come to an end. Another law enacted the same year requires all shelters and animal control agencies to microchip dogs and cats with chips containing current information before turning them over to new owners, or returning them to their current owners.

Los Angeles requires dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered after they reach 4 months of age, with some exemptions allowed. The city also requires dog owners to leash their pets when they are taken out in public.

San Diego also has a leash law, requiring that dogs be kept on a leash no more than 8 feet in length at all times, except when at home or in places designated as off-leash areas. These rules apply in city parks. San Diego maintains 20 off-leash dog parks.

San Francisco forbids tethering animals to stationary objects, though running lines, trolleys, and pulley systems are noted as exceptions as long as the pet is wearing the appropriate collar. Adequate food, water, and shelter must be provided for all animals.

Rules, policies and procedures listed here are examples only and are not meant to be comprehensive, or to constitute legal or other advice related to the care and handling of your pet.

source : https://www.usnews.com/insurance/pet-insurance/california